Suresh Ale Magar
Leader Nepal Unified Maoist Party
Suresh Ale Magar, a prominent leader of Unified Maoist party is also a member of Committee for International Relations and Human Rights in Nepal’s parliament. The Committee has recently endorsed a policy paper entitled 'Nepal’s Foreign Policy in Changed Context', which apart from offering suggestions on foreign policy also seeks an end of Nepali soldiers fighting wars under foreign flags.
Gorkha Sainik, a vernacular magazine has published and interviewed Mr. Magar about the endorsed paper. We found it appropriate to reproduce it in our online portal and its print version for the larger interest of the Nepali population.
We are very thankful to the Gorkha Sainik magazine: Chief Editor.
TQ1. Why the committee referred/suggested the government to stop recruiting of the Gurkhas in the national army of any other country?
Magar: We haven't said that recruitment of Gurkhas in foreign army should immediately come to a halt. However, this tradition is principally not in favor of the Nepalese people. To work as an army under the flag of other nation doesn't sound good. Therefore, we have urged the government to halt the recruitment by making necessary arrangement of employment opportunities for the youths of our country.
Nepalese youths are being recruited in national armies of other countries since more than 200 years ago. I do not see any logic on why should we continue this humiliating tradition? Nepal is facing severe loss politically, culturally, administratively, educationally and diplomatically due to such recruitment. As far as the financial benefits from the recruitment is concerned, what I would like to add is that this such an income which is destroying career of the children of the Lahure (those who recruit their teens as the soldiers of foreign countries) rather than making their life happier. A handful of tall buildings may have been erected from those incomes; however, their children have been victimized by the abuse of drug. The hard earned money of Gurkhas by shedding blood for others is being of no benefit for Nepal. Lahures are gradually settling inside UK, and hence their income has become useless for our national economy. Analyzing all these circumstances, the committee has urged to halt recruiting Gurkhas. But let me repeat that we haven't asked the government to stop it immediately. First, the state has to set yardstick and should stop this tradition which is both ugly and humiliating one.
TQ2. Do you think Gurkha recruitment in UK and India army will be stopped by the will of Nepal only? Do you think it is possible?
Magar: It should be possible. For this, the state should present itself in strong manner. At personal level, I further believe that UK and India will eventually stop recruiting soldiers from Nepal. Nationalist sentiment is gradually becoming pervasive among Nepali population and unemployment problem is becoming a burning issue in UK and India. The general public of UK and India are also voicing against recruitment of Gurkhas in their national army which, they feel, is gulping their domestic employment opportunities. These countries are deciding to cut the number of their army and in this circumstances, I foresee that the recruitment of Gurkhas will eventually be closed down.
TQ3. Why the youths from indigenous communities of Nepal were/are only recruited/recruiting in the national army of other countries? Don’t you smell rat over such a selective recruitment?
Magar: This tradition was initiated in a treacherous manner to wipe out indigenous community from Nepal. The then Nepali rulers were biased. They had send youths from indigenous community and wished their likely death during the war. During the then Rana regime, autocratic Brahmin state was in existence in Kathmandu. The rulers hadn't sent youths from Brahmin and Chhetri community to work as the mercenaries in foreign army.
TQ4. Thousands of Nepali youths have offered their lives while fighting under the flag of other nation. Can't Nepal claim compensation for such a horrendous loss?
Magar: Nepal can and should make such a claim forcefully. If the state is sincere and sensitive towards the security of its citizens, it must make such a claim. Such claim is not only just but logical also. The Gurkha Army Ex-Servicemen’s organization (GAESO) is making such claims and some positive developments has been observed in this regard. It is the result of the sole attempt of GAESO. Government of Nepal has done nothing for this. The state of Nepal is weak. State is still in the firm grip of Brahmin community. The grievances of the indigenous communities have not become a matter of concern for the ruling Brahmin elites. If the Brahmins or Chhetris had faced this problem, the state would have already tried its best to end this tradition.
TQ5. You have accused Brahmin leaders for not voicing for stopping Gurkhas recruitment. You are also a national leader from indigenous community, then why you are still not voicing against the grievances of your community?
Magar: A single community is in the power corridor of Kathmandu, where as people from other community are being victimized by the state. This is why the state is very reluctant to address the grievances of people from indigenous community. If the people from the community of ruling elite might have faced such problem, the state would have struggle against. This is the real problem. Thanks Gorkha Sainik magazine: ED.